Sylva Britannica - J.G. Strutt (1826)

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London, England: Printed by A.J. Valpy. Published by J.G. Strutt and Colnaghi & Co. (1822 -) 1826. SYLVA BRITANNICA; OR, PORTRAITS OF FOREST TREES DISTINGUISHED FOR THEIR ANTIQUITY, MAGNITUDE, OR BEAUTY. DRAWN FROM NATURE AND ETCHED BY JACOB GEORGE STRUTT. Folio (15 3/4 x 21 3/4). 3 pp. list of subscribers, etched frontispiece, and 48 etched plates, all edges gilt, all proofs on India Paper. First Edition.

Rare Copy in Original, Unrestored Boards. Deluxe India Paper Issue of the First Edition of this landmark work, offering portraits of individual great trees.

J. G. Strutt (1784 - 1867) was a landscape painter and etcher by training rather than a botanical draughtsman. He therefore approached his subjects with an artist's eye to structure and composition that lends an extra dimension to the finished images. The images are not only botanically accurate representations of individual trees, but also beautifully composed pictures of landscapes. The focus of each plate is the chosen tree or trees but they are always clearly rooted in the scenery that surrounds them, and are seen by Strutt as what they are: a point of focus, but still part of the larger landscape. Each plate is complemented by the lively and informative text, which generally gives details of the known history of each tree as well as recording its girth, height, spread and cubic footage of timber. 

From 1824 to 1831 he exhibited studies of forest scenery, publishing the present work and Deliciae Sylvarum; or Grand and Romantic Forest Scenery in England and Scotland, 1828[-33]. Later he moved to Rome and produced landscapes of the Italian countryside. Nissen BBI 1907; Arnold Arboretum 671; Bradley Bibliography I 296.


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